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MissLizzy Aug 12th 2010 6:41 pm

Difficulties moving to UK with stepchild?
We're in the US. My husband wants to relocate us back to the UK to be near his family.

I'm his American wife. We have 2 sons together with dual citizenship, and I have a 9 yr old daughter from a previous relationship. Daughter's bio father is about $10,000 behind in child support, seldom visits her and has had nothing whatsoever to do with her upbringing.

I have still heard rumours though, that her application could be denied due to her bio father still living in the states! How can this be possible, that while the rest of us can come into the UK fairly easily, she alone might be denied entry? We're the only family she's ever known. She's never even been alone with her bio father before.

We wouldn't leave her behind, of course, but this would definitely spell disaster for our move plans were it to occur. Has anyone else been though a situation like this?

JAJ Aug 12th 2010 6:44 pm

Re: Difficulties moving to UK with stepchild?
First question ... has your husband got his American citizenship? If not, has he thought about getting that process completed before leaving.

Second question ... do you have the legal right under American (or state) law to remove the child permanently from the state/USA? And if not, could you get a court order, if the other parent doesn't consent?

MissLizzy Aug 12th 2010 6:48 pm

Re: Difficulties moving to UK with stepchild?
Thanks for your reply. No, Nick (my husband) doesn't have American citizenship, but he never intended to get it. I don't have any court-ordered restrictions on where I may move with my child. Currently the bio-father lives in Arkansas and we live in North Carolina.

I could, perhaps, get a court order if the bio-dad objected to our move. I am first and foremost concerned that the UK might not allow her entry on the sheer basis that one of her bio parents is overseas.

JAJ Aug 12th 2010 6:53 pm

Re: Difficulties moving to UK with stepchild?

Originally Posted by MissLizzy (Post 8772917)
Thanks for your reply. No, Nick (my husband) doesn't have American citizenship, but he never intended to get it.

Considering he has an American spouse and two American citizen children, plus one step-daughter, don't you think that's a little "not smart"?

Think about it, as adults they could return to the United States and he might want to live close to them. But with his green card gone, that might not be possible.

Usually a bad idea for parents to have different nationality from children (or vice versa) and especially bad when this is the result of a deliberate choice, rather than an unavoidable circumstance.

MissLizzy Aug 12th 2010 6:57 pm

Re: Difficulties moving to UK with stepchild?
I appreciate your advice, but it doesn't answer my original question. My husband's citizenship choice doesn't affect the issue at hand.

Mummy in the foothills Aug 12th 2010 7:44 pm

Re: Difficulties moving to UK with stepchild?
Is it possible to get something written and notarized from your EX saying he has no problem with you and your child moving out of the country? Or could that open up a whole can of worms in itself?
Would he try to stop you going by not signing?
Would he be willing to never pay and you not go after him for support by signing her permission to move? Thats how my MIL moved her kids out of the country.
Money talks :ohmy: Sad but true.

MissLizzy Aug 12th 2010 8:50 pm

Re: Difficulties moving to UK with stepchild?
That is something to consider. He probably would object, not for wanting her to stay but probably to spite me, you know how it is with some exes. So I don't believe he'd be willing to sign a document giving us his blessing. However, I also know he doesn't have the money to take me to court (if he did, I'd have some of it in my pocket). I'm not rich either, and can't really afford an immigration lawyer to ask lots of questions of. I guess if it comes down to it, we'll find a way... thanks for your reply, btw :)

AmerLisa Aug 13th 2010 4:14 pm

Re: Difficulties moving to UK with stepchild?
When I moved to the UK with my then 15 year old daughter (I should add this was 12 years ago) I had to get a notarized letter from my ex-husband to allow our daughter to live with me out of the country. This was something the British consulate requested me to do to complete our visa process. However, I'm sure things have changed. I would almost bet you will have to have a court order to move your daughter.

You will get more information and maybe meet a few American Ex-pats by going to They will be able to help you much better, I would imagine.

Also, JAJ is offering good advice. We came back to the US over 6 years ago (my British husband and our daughter who has dual citizenship, my older daughter chose to stay in the UK) and I could still kick myself that I didn't get British citizenship before we left. If we were to go back now, it would be such a hassle because I would have to go through all the craziness of the visa process. You never know how things will go in the future, you may well not like living in the UK, do you realize how much hassle it will be to bring your British husband back over here?

At any rate, best of luck to you and your family....:)

MissLizzy Aug 16th 2010 2:22 am

Re: Difficulties moving to UK with stepchild?
That is good advice, so thank you both. I consulted my husband and he agreed he should get his US citizenship.

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